Sunday, June 04, 2006

Admittedly, we're not the greatest soccer fans here at Dotde, though this has more to do with a sheer American ignorance (regarding football) than with any best sport worst sport least boring sport least exciting sport in the world qualifications. After watching a few Mainzer 05 games and the Champion League finals, we're getting to know a few of the characters, and just seeing the game played at such high levels has helped us come around.

So as next Friday's 3:00 (EST) initiates the first installment of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, our attention will be rapt on Munich's opening game: Deutschland-Costa Rica. Ironically, D and I won't be in Germany for the party, as we're leaving for a week in Greece a couple of hours from now. Nonetheless, in a contemporary re-enactment of Prometheun defiance to attain life's necessities*, we'll try to steal satellite TV access from the Greek gods in order to watch our interim-country take on the Costa Ricans in a game that's sure to begin with pomp and ceremony and ignite the Germans into rousing sing-a-longs.

And if this is the first you've read of the coming tournament, perhaps you need to look around for a better news source. Germany is abuzz with advertisements (even for wrinkle cream!: Look alive while you watch your team!), special deals, and venues to watch the proceedings as they proceed. I don't think there's a bar in Mainz that's not showing the game, and I can't wait to watch the gimmicks appear as owners realize that it's not that special to turn on the TV. Are we talking beer discounts? Half-price appetizers? We here will feast.

That said, if you're coming to Mainz in the next few weeks, drop by Domplatz (you can't miss seeing the Dom in Mainz, you can't miss seeing Domplatz) to watch the game on the big screen that'll be stationed there most the month. Also check out some of the favorite eateries, such as Pomp, Eisgrub, and Mombacher Treff, as they set up mini-projectors and serve tasty treats. If you'll be in Frankfurt, drop by the Main River and watch a game on a floating screen. Wherever you are, try the Pils, yes, but also try the Hefeweizen because we endorse it more (and by "endorse," I mean "drink"). And if you need a little more education about the contenders strutting the fields, check out this analysis in the New York Times: If not Brazil, Who? For those actually making the trip here to watch a game, NYT's city guide for match hosts will provide a brief introduction, starting with Berlin.

And to make it even better, my family will be out for the final match in Berlin. Of course, we'll be staying around Mainz, but the entire Klamka collective will be in attendance to watch the U.S. perform an upset. So if you're looking for a prediction, that's my advice: pull for your country (but please enjoy watching Brazil).

*you try to bridge the humorless gap between our visit in Greece and the start of the World Cup.


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